Submitted by: Theresa Hendricks

Marissa and author
Marissa Hendricks with Burt finalist Catherin Knutsson.

Marissa Hendricks, daughter of Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizens Theresa and Keith Hendricks, recently presented at CODE’s Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature Inaugural Gala. The event was held on October 2 at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec.

The award was established by CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning in Canada and around the world for over 50 years – in collaboration with William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation.

Part of a unique global readership initiative, CODE’s Burt Award aims to recognizes excellence in literary works for young adults by Métis, First Nations and Inuit authors. It is a unique literary award that strives to provide Aboriginal youth across Canada with access to culturally-relevant and engaging books.

Approached by CODE, Marissa provided a reading of Métis Burt Award finalist, Catherine Knutsson’s novel Shadows Cast By Stars to a crowd of over 200 people. The novel blends a contemporary feminist sensibility with Arthurian legends, Greek mythology and Native traditions to create a rich and captivating story narrated by a Métis character.

Marissa speaking
Marissa Hendricks reading a passage from Burt finalist Catherine Knutsson’s
Shadows Cast By Stars.

Marissa was one of five youth chosen to speak at the event and was introduced by Métis National Council representative Marc LeClair. The evening also featured Aboriginal music, including Métis fiddler Anthony Brascoupe.

“It was a great experience that CODE gave me,” said Marissa. “I’m so happy that they selected me to read a passage on behalf of the Métis community.”

First place winner was awarded to Richard Wagamese for his novel Indian Horse. Second place was awarded to Tara Lee Morin for her novel As I Remember It and third place to James Bartleman for his novel As Long as the Rivers Flow.

For more details on the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature please visit their website: